Maybe when you think of downsizing you think about giving away a portion of your wardrobe. Maybe you’ve watched a few episodes of Marie Kwondo and your house is less cluttered and your t-shirts are folded in quarters and stacked on edge now.
But what about really truly downsizing?
As in – your entire square footage shrinks to less than half of what you currently have?
That’s the sort of downsizing happening in Travelers Rest’s first tiny home community.
Creek Walk Community is a neighborhood of tiny houses – all about 400 square feet each.
The homes are tiny, but the property is not. It’s a lovely space just outside of downtown Travelers Rest, mere minutes away in your car and only a little more than that on foot or bike, via the Swamp Rabbit Trail, which runs directly across the edge of the Creek Walk Community property. On the grounds you’ll find a pond, a community center, trails and even more to come.
It’s just the beginning of the evolving Tiny Home movement designed here at Creek Walk.
We recently had a tour of the property and had the pleasure of meeting some of the families making the change and calling tiny home sweet home.
Manager Sara Barnett walked with us through the area and we chatted pleasantly as we strolled. She’s good company, warm and vibrant, quick to laugh and eager to explain what drew her into the neighborhood as well.
At the community center we met a couple whose tiny home is more mobile than some of the others. Their home is meant to be travel ready for their next job assignment. Inside the community center there’s a washer and a dryer if your tiny home isn’t equipped with its own laundry service. There’s also a large community kitchen and space for meetings or gatherings and even private office space available to both tiny home owners and the general public as well.
The trails around the tiny homes are walkable and quiet, trees lining the area and the small homes. Although there is a consistency to the general size of each home, there’s still a strong sense of individuality in design and form.
Our first stop was to visit Douglas in his immaculate and charming tiny house. We stepped on to the tidiest of porches and were warmly welcomed into his cozy home.
Douglas moved into the Creek Walk Community last fall after retiring from more than thirty years at Duke Energy. He had originally been looking to downsize to a house with about 1,000 square feet. “That size house seems almost non existent in TR,” he confessed. He and his wife had been living in Travelers Rest for about eight years when she was diagnosed with dementia. Once she moved to Spring Park Assisted Living, which happens to be just about across the street from Creek Walk, the tiny home community looked more and more appealing.
In fact, he actually saw a tiny home being pulled down the street, leading him to discover Creek Walk. “I had hip surgery the year before and I was not able to keep up with the yard work and I didn’t want to live alone in a 2400 square foot house,” Douglas shared with us as we all three stood comfortably in his small living space. “Before I put my house on the market I saw a tiny home go through downtown TR and I started asking people and was told about Creek Walk. I visited three times and the more I thought about it the more I thought it might be for me.”
The house, Douglas says, has been the perfect size for him and he loves the ease of cleaning it. (It’s charming, by the way. Full of beautiful art and personal touches.) Douglas still has regular sized appliances and all his amenities, but he says the best part for him is probably the staff – owner Justin Draplin and managers Sara and Robert.
The community is as varied as the interiors of each tiny home. There are families with children and single people living at Creek Walk. Twenty-somethings and retirees. The tiny homes are appealing to a wide variety people for an equally wide variety of reasons.
There’s a well formulated plan for growth in the community as well. New lots are available and people are planning their tiny home experiences.
The tiny home movement is one that can help to be an option in solving the problem of affordable housing in our area. Plus, they’re good neighbors and that’s always welcome in our town.